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Wood’s Comfort Zone
Planks that crack, split, or shrink excessively can be signs your floor is screaming for help.
Wood is Hygroscopic
Wood is a hygroscopic material, which means it “tends to absorb moisture in the air.” Wood also naturally wants to give this moisture back to the air when the environment is extremely dry.
Climate Affects Humidity
When winter sets in, natural bodies of water freeze, leaving the climate drier. Human beings respond to colder temperatures with heating units which only intensify the dry air.
Just like our skin, which can flake and feel more brittle or dry during the winter, wooden floors react to environmental changes. Floors may splinter, crack, split and break down if the nearby humidity is not properly controlled.
The Importance of Humidity
As a general rule, the National Wood Flooring Association says that wood floors will perform their best when the interior is controlled with a relative humidity range of 30 to 50 percent. There are some geographic exceptions that have a lower or higher percentage range, but these general guidelines can at least serve as a starting point when monitoring your interiors.
Here are two SUPER important things you can do right now to help defend your floors against seasonal humidity swings:
- Buy a humidity monitor
- Buy a humidifier or dehumidifier when necessary. Here are The Spruce’s recommendations for the 7 best humidifiers to buy this year, and here are 16 stylish humidifiers to work with your interior design.
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